THE ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
Seth Bogolofski, Staff Writer
When upcoming rap group Flatbush Zombies made the decision to collaborate with standout artist Joey Badass, the potential for this album rose through the ceiling. Produced by Beast Coast Media and Columbia Record, Beast Coast was created with a deeper inspiration to brotherhood. The title actually is a metaphor, as the group looks to escape the hallowed remains of their home city. Through a unique style of hip-hop performed to the highest degree by Flatbush Zombies and Joey Badass, Beast Coast did extremely well on the charts, despite being a debut album from an unknown group.
Not to mention the supergroup also features The Underachievers, and Pro Era’s Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, CJ Fly, and Powers Pleasant. This line up appears stacked from top to bottom and is composed of pieces that fit interchangeably within any song in the album. Running at forty-six minutes, thirty seconds long, the thirteen-song track wastes no time getting straight to the chase opening with It Ain’t Easy It Ain’t Easy, a fast-paced introduction that puts many different voices on display.
Left Hand, the album’s preview single allows each member of the group to attack the beat in a different way. The subtle but driving beat keeps the listener engaged in each specific verse. However, as with this song, each lyric spoken is precise. Artists sometimes rely too heavily on a good background to compensate for a lack in lyrics. Throughout each style, Beast Coast’s vocalists deliver rhythms filled with story and meaning. Each song’s unique background track pairs perfectly with the artists, allowing the artistic qualities that have brought them their fame to be front and center. Perhaps the album’s top song is Snow in The Stadium, a peculiar reggae piece that Flatbush Zombies in particular deliver in an interesting way. Meechy Darko’s low tone voice stands out against the rhythm allowing his part to be an authentic style of music that only he could produce.
Other popular pieces such as Far Away, Problemz, Distance, and One More Round continue to advance the premise of this album from the beginning, which has appeared to be a slasher form of rap that keeps new voices active. Not only does the listener become engaged with the new voice being introduced, but with the clear-cut lyrics that each artist brings to the table. Beast Coast’s supergroup size contributes in a big way to the success of the album. The roster of voices that belong to the group continuously found new ways to allow their separate voices to work together. Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers became a known two-fist punch. Often, the groups would piggy-back off of each other to create long articulated verses.
Having Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, Joey Badass, and other Pro Era artists in the same booth opened doors for the native New York rappers to share stories of brotherhood and triumph. The immense success that has been produced through their style is enjoyable to listen to. Beast Coast deserves to have more people learn about their music. The stories they have lived through will forever be captured in lyrics and will be a memory of their individual “escape” from New York. I have rated this album a 9/10, but don’t take my word for it, give it a listen for yourself.